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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:38 pm 
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I know there's probably been lots of these, but I'm gonna share mine anyway.

Now, the non-canon-ness of the prison books consists mainly of two parts: the communication through the linking panel and the exchanging of places.

My theory for the first one is that the writer of a linking/descriptive book can describe the way the linking panel behaves. We've seen many variants ranging from static panels to endless loops to full-view landings to live communication. Atrus's crystal viewer was also able to change the view. So I'd say that a live communication panel is an option. The only thing for which I have no explanation is how the "signal" appears at the book's destination. It might appear as some sort of hologram.

Second part is the place swapping. Simple answer, if someone links into something, the something will get linked to the someone's former spot, that is at the book that was used. Essentially the two things swap places. Not only would this explain how people can exchange places through a book, but it also explains what happens if you link into something.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:56 pm 
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I love new people's look on things...bravo

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:21 am 
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As you say this has been discussed a lot but I haven't read much of it so I will carelessly throw my two cents in. I like your exchange idea. After all when someone links they have to displace whatever is there before they materialize (which in a properly written and maintained link is air) so why not an exchange, subject to normal linking rules? Of course if the books in the cavern were written this way there would be a lot of being yanked back and forth through busy linking books.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:42 am 
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ventris wrote:
As you say this has been discussed a lot but I haven't read much of it so I will carelessly throw my two cents in. I like your exchange idea. After all when someone links they have to displace whatever is there before they materialize (which in a properly written and maintained link is air) so why not an exchange, subject to normal linking rules? Of course if the books in the cavern were written this way there would be a lot of being yanked back and forth through busy linking books.

I don't quite see why that would be a big problem in the cavern. The Nexus was actually one age for everyone, so there couldn't be lots of people linking into the same spot at the other end, because they have to let the Nexus machine do its stuff first before being able to link. The people would also have to move away from the link-in spot, but I suppose that would just be part of "cavern etiquette" just like it is right now.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:22 am 
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Ok, so I have a bone to pick with people who declare prison books non-cannon, because they are anything but. Nothing personal, just something I've felt for a while now.

The official explanation of them is that they are artistic license. Now that tells most people that they are not cannon and drives them to come up with some crazy explanation. However, the fact that they are artistic license is actually part of the cannon, and fits into the larger narrative or the story.

The cavern was discovered, along with Catherine's journals (I'm too lazy right now to find dates). Cyan Worlds was then hired to create games (and eventually novels) based on those journals (and later other information found exploring the cavern). However, in order to make a better game, (and in some cases hide the true location of the cavern) they made some small changes. So the events in the game are an adaptation of what really happened (at least according to Catherine).

See, noting non-cannon about that. Everything fits. Frankly, I'd be more interested in finding out what really happened, rather than try to fit something in that was never meant to fit in.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:37 pm 
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Magic88889 wrote:
The official explanation of them is that they are artistic license. Now that tells most people that they are not cannon and drives them to come up with some crazy explanation. However, the fact that they are artistic license is actually part of the cannon, and fits into the larger narrative or the story.

The artistic license is not part of the canon. It means that what was shown in Myst and Riven did not happen that way, but is displayed differently in the games to make the plot more dramatic/interesting/awesome. And since the canon is what "really" happened, it doesn't matter how things are in the games.

Also I want to note that Cyan had to come up with something to explain the prison book stuff, but they had no good ideas - so they just said "artistic license".

Magic88889 wrote:
cannon

canon!

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:38 am 
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But you see that's exactly my point. As you said, the games themselves are not an accurate description of what happened. According to the canon (a narrative that includes the hiring of Cyan to make the games, as well as their use of artistic license), they were altered from Catherine's journals (which is what really happened) to make a better game. The Prison books were one of those things that were introduced, to make things simpler.

So in what really happened according to Catherine, there were no prison books. So why do people constantly try to come up with some explanation for something that clearly doesn't exist?

That's the story I'm interested in, not some way to tie in something that never really existed. How was contact really established with the brothers (and Atrus for that matter)? How did the stranger really trap Ghen? That's the story I'm interested in.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:12 am 
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dgelessus wrote:
Also I want to note that Cyan had to come up with something to explain the prison book stuff, but they had no good ideas - so they just said "artistic license".

That's basically why. Also Cyan never thought of the prison books as artistic license until Myst IV, where they were made actual full ages by Ubisoft. If Cyan had conducted the Myst series completely on their own, they probably wouldn't have done such a thing. So the artistic license is actually "what was never meant to fit in."
THIS STATEMENT IS FALSE!

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Last edited by dgelessus on Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:46 pm 
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http://www.dpwr.net/forums/index.php?autocom=ibwiki&cmd=article&id=928

Actually, Rawa declared them non-canon as far back as 1998, long before Myst IV went into production.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:41 pm 
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Oh, thanks for letting me know.
Doesn't change much though. First of all, that article/post/mail/whatever doesn't mention the communication through books. Also it was still written after the production of Myst and Riven. Although it was somewhat said in the text that they thought of the whole artistic license while making Myst, I don't quite believe that they already thought of it when they came up with the prison book idea.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:59 pm 
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I'll give you that they probably hadn't thought of the Prison books being a problem during Myst.

However, much of the story was clearly in place by the time Riven came around. Not only did we get a ton of the backstory. The three books were released between Myst and Riven, and Uru was started on shortly after Riven.

The reason Myst 3 and 4 were developed by outside studios was because Cyan was already in full Uru mode (or Mudpie as it was known back then). We even see some early images in RealMyst.

I beleieve that much of the backstory, including the intention to declare the prison books as artistic license was actually decided pretty early on. Perhaps even before the release of Riven.



However, I see that as all kind of Moot. A good story changes and evolves over time. When Myst can out, we thought that that was all there was. Then the books came, and we learned that there was a whole lot more to this. Then more games came, with an avalanche of new information. Some of that information seemed to contradict older information.

As the story expanded, we learned that the events in the games were not literal translations of what actually happened, and that many of the details were different from what we had experienced.

We learned that Cyan was hired to create the games by Elias Zandi (who, along with John Loftin, discovered the cavern). They were based on Catherine's journals that were found. Once we learned that, the entire story changed, I think, for the better.


Any good story changes over time, as new information becomes available. Take the first season of the Doctor Who reboot. What we think we know throughout the season completely changes with information presented in the last episode. So much so that you almost have to re-watch the entire season.

The prison books are "artistic license". And why they are was explained IC. Cyan expanded the story to account for that. They didn't change anything really that I saw, just expanded an already existing story.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:39 pm 
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Well, if you really want to take the 'canon' aspect of Uru to its ultimate conclusion.....

The idea is, Uru (and presumably Myst 5, too) is meant to be 'real life' and the other Myst games 1-4 were designed by Cyan, and based on Catherine's notes, etc, of things that happened more than a century ago... as 'historical fiction'.

Myst, therefore, is something akin to that old 'Titanic' Cd-rom game-- some events are real, some characters are based on real people--- but many events and people are 'made up' for the sake of the game.

Taken to its most extreme.. you could assume:


Myst: The books in the Myst library were burned, someone was stealing from the Ages; so Atrus wrote the 'prison Ages' of Spire and Haven to capture whoever was responsible--- and his sons became ensnared. End of story! the events of Myst, the puzzles there, etc, never actually took place. Atrus was never trapped in K'veer, and nobody ever tried to rescue either brother by giving them pages.. that's just a story written for the game.


Riven: Catherine simply got 'stuck' in Riven without a linking book.. Atrus realized he'd have to go looking for her there, when she'd been missing several days.

Atrus headed into Riven, bringing two books---- one a linking book back to Myst, and one a descriptive book for a stable Age where Gehn could live. Atrus simply arrived in Riven, approached Gehn and offered him an exchange:

"Release Catherine to me and I'll give you this Age. It is stable, prosperous and beautiful. We will go away to Myst, you can use this book-- Riven will collapse, destroying this book and closing the link to your new home... and our paths will never cross again!" And Gehn-- unable to write himself a safe, stable Age to escape from Riven -- went for it.

Myst III--- Might actually have been based on an extraordinarily short story where Saavedro appeared in Atrus' study to confront Atrus about the loss of his world.... and Atrus just directed him to a linking book that let Saavedro return home. No drama, no puzzles.

Myst 4.. Again, could have just been a simple story where both Achenar and Sirrus were released & allowed to come home; the family reunion got a little heated, and one of the brothers had to step up to keep control of the other. Heck... For all we know, both brothers may have even survived the encounter, but Cyan felt a story of loss & sacrifice was a better ending for the game.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:17 am 
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I think you're finally getting my point. When considering the story of Myst, you have to take in the whole story, not just part of it, and that includes everything that was learned in Uru. However, I think you've taken a more extreme approach to it that I would have.

The basic narrative doesn't change. The story is from Catherine's journals, so it happened as it is presented. The major events don't change, just some of the details on how those events actually played out.

The existence or non-existence of prison books doesn't change the story at all. The brothers were still trapped in Spire and Haven, and the stranger still tricked Ghen somehow to free Cathrine. The only thing that changed is the how.


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